Technology is changing every day, but not just in the tools you have for capturing and creating incredible images. Let's talk about the tools you have for presentation and your ability to have a stronger, higher impact reach with your clients. I have yet to understand why more photographers don't have a demo reel running on their site showing their work. It's the perfect vehicle to demonstrate your ability to not only capture outstanding images, but be a storyteller.
I found this post in the Photodex blog archives from my friend Lisa Robinson. I did a podcast with Lisa a short time ago and it's definitely worth your time to hear her thoughts on how she's built her business. The post below provides four outstanding tips to help you think through creating your own demo reel.
- Cull your favorite photos down. Way down.
(I have tips on culling here: 5 Tips to Choose Your Best Images) Having too many photos in your slideshow can cause the images to flash by far too quickly for your potential clients to enjoy them. It’s impossible to show every amazing photo you’ve taken so try to think of including a broad range of photos. For example, with weddings, I don’t want to include 80% of my slideshow to be getting ready photos. There’s so much more to the day. I want to include a range of photos to showcase the scope of my work.
- Pick an organization method.
I’ve seen a lot of slideshows that move me. Some are chronological slideshows and some lead with their killer images first. Either method you choose, make sure you stick to it. The only slideshows that fail to move me are the ones that tend to be all over the place. For my wedding demo reels, I tend to think of them as being similar to the wedding albums I create. I like them to start out with getting ready, move into first looks, move into ceremonies, move into portraits, move into celebrations. I want my wedding clients to be viewing pictures in the same way they’d be viewing them when I show them their wedding photos.
- Pick awesome music.
Now, this can be subjective. Awesome isn’t the same to everyone. Everyone’s business has a different feel and message. Make sure what you pick is in alignment with the branding message you are trying to put out into the world. If you’re a high energy, spirited company, you probably shouldn’t do a demo reel to Pachelbel’s Canon. Likewise, if you’re a super romantic, light and airy, “quiet beauty” type photographer, you probably don’t want to choose electronica music. For my latest demo reel, I chose a cheerful, upbeat song as I feel that sentiment goes hand in hand with my company name “Lovesome” which means displaying warmth and affection. I love to showcase happiness and joy in my photos, so a happy, joyful song suits my message. Photodex has a wide range of songs in their music library that are all free, but you can also pull from great online libraries such as SongFreedom to get your licensed music. Remember, using licensed music is important. As photographers, we want people to respect our copyrights so we need to respect our artist peers in the music industry as well!
- Share, share, share!
ProShow is awesome about making it easy to download files of all sizes and formats, which means it’s super easy for you to share your slideshow on all kinds of media. Get it out on your blog, your social media accounts, email to clients, show them in person. The more people that see your beautiful work, the more positive effect it can have on your business.